As I was looking through my DVD library trying to find a light comedy to watch, I pulled out French Kiss that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I thought the title was rather appropriate with my project of reading and viewing material that is French related! It was produced in 1995 starring Meg Ryan as Kate and Kevin Kline as Luc. It was a light heartwarming story about a jilted woman who flies to Paris to bring her fiancé back to his senses and bring him back home. Of course she meets a French man who complicates this process.
I was particularly happy to see so much of Paris in the movie. I even saw the inside of George V Hotel that I wrote about in one my blogs when I imagined myself sitting in one its dining rooms. Of course I wouldn’t want to lose my bag to a thief like Kate did in its lobby!
I also enjoyed viewing the beautiful countryside as Kate and Luc rode on a train heading to the south of France still chasing after her fiancé. I couldn’t help think of my daughter who is joining us in Paris when Kate says, “What’s with the French and their dairy?” It’s going to be a challenge for her to find food that won’t make her ill since so much of French food contains dairy. Therefore, I didn’t know whether to laugh or be concerned when on the train, Kate indulges in some cheese, claiming that she doesn’t seem to be reacting to French cheese, when suddenly she is in agony shouting, ” LACTOSE INTOLERANT!
In one of the scenes, when she is chatting to her fiancé, she explains that she has learned to be rude to waiters since they will respond to her wishes more that way! Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni who wrote an essay in Paris Was Ours would readily agree: “The daily humiliations I encountered until I realized that the accepted protocol is to bite back~! How the endless non morph into a honeyed oui when you stand your ground! And learning to accept the acerbic humour even if it stings! Imagine asking a middle-aged man for directions – it was my first day – and being served with “Mademoiselle, do I look like a map?”
Unfortunately, Kate, even though she was a history teacher, portrayed an ignorant tourist not knowing much about France so that at one point, she asks Luc if France is a democracy. He didn’t portray the stereotype French person who would have responded much more harshly than just a quiet, “Oui!”
However I did appreciate Kate’s outburst against the French woman’s pout and keeping the man on edge so that he cannot anticipate her thoughts and feelings. And yet, when Luc convinced her to be provocative and not crying and begging her fiancé to come home, she successfully made her fiancé apologize and want to return to her. Maybe the French woman knows what she is doing, n’est pas?
Anyways, French Kiss accomplished what I needed: a quiet, relaxing evening eating popcorn and enjoying a comedy that also allowed me to see more of France!